The first of four Egyptian Type 209 submarines built by Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) has arrived home in Alexandria, where it was welcomed by other Egyptian naval vessels including a FREMM frigate and fast attack craft.
An Egyptian military spokesman said the S41 (861) arrived in Alexandria on 19 April after being handed over in Germany on 12 December last year. The homeward journey saw it sail from Kiel in late March through the Strait of Gibraltar and finally the Ras El-Tin naval base in Alexandria.
According to Ahram Online, the submarine carried out exercises at sea on 18 April to ensure it was ready to join the Egyptian fleet. Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Navy, Ahmed Khaled, said the submarine would help Egypt combat current and future security challenges.
The Egyptian military said the vessel will be used to protect Egypt’s national security, protect its economic interests and ensure safe and free navigation of the Suez Canal and other regions. The vessels have a range of 11 000 nautical miles, a top speed of 21 knots and displacement of 1 400 tonnes.
The Type 209/1400s will be able to launch missiles and torpedoes – it is believed they will be fitted with Harpoon anti-ship missiles.
They will most likely replace the Egyptian Navy’s four elderly Romeo class vessels delivered in 1983/84.
The Egyptian Navy is set to grow further this year, and will in September receive the first of four Gowind corvettes ordered from France’s DCNS, which has already delivered the FREMM frigate Tahya Misr, which welcomed the Type 209 to Egypt along with the Fahmi (Ambassador class) fast attack craft.